Zoinks! by Dale Culp

A WebFiction Published Thrice Weekly

The enthralling, true tale of a trans girl just trying to get by and make the most of her life.

Also, she hunts ghosts and occasionally solves mysteries.

New to Zoinks!? Start at the beginning.

Chapter 2 - Act 1 - "Dire Consequences"

Being a "web based" company means we don't deal directly with the customers. It's great, except that I was hired as a customer service representative, which means dealing directly with the customers. Albeit, my primary point of contact is over the phone... but still. Also, today is Cyber Monday, which is like Black Friday Part 2. I will be answering hundreds of calls from rude, impatient customers looking for "unofficially sanctioned" sales and bargains.

I'm no mood for shenanigans. Black Friday killed parts of my soul that excessive drinking couldn't possibly replace. What I need least at this moment is interaction with quirky co-workers. And wouldn't you know it? Philip and Howard are already here! Let the quirkiness begin!

Philip and Howard have a nasty habit of showing up for work on Monday mornings covered in filth, and today is no different. I guess that's to be expected when you spend all of your free time breaking into abandoned buildings and doing whatever it is a ghost hunter is supposed to do.

As I enter the building, I'm met with the unholy stench of sweaty gym socks soaking in a vat of raw sewage wafting towards me from their direction.

"Ugh, God! What is that smell? What have you two been doing all weekend, swimming in The Bog of Eternal Stench?" I ask, waving my hand in front of my face to clear the air.

Philip glares at me, "We were pretty busy looking for clues to a case we're working on."

"What kind of case?"

"We had to crack open a tomb!" Howard says excitedly.

I recoil in horror. "What the hell? Are you guys robbing graves, now? OH MY GOD... is that what I'm smelling? Rotting corpses?"

"What? No! What do you think we are, a couple of ghouls?" Philip asks.

I'm not sure how to respond.

"That's the stink of a real, hard-workin' man, baby," Philip says, as he flexes his arm flab. I can see his pit stain and I look away before I get even more sick.

"Philip, no. Don't call her 'baby,'" Ross interrupts as he walks in to unlock the office for us. "Chicks don't like that, and I'll have to write you up if you do it again, ok?"

"Oh, uh... yeah. Sorry, Boss Ross. But it's true. I'm a real, hard-workin' man."

"Psshhh, what ever," Valeria says, pushing past us and making a point not to look at me. We're still not on speaking terms. I was hoping the weekend would give her time to cool down, but I guess she didn't.

"Philip, you're a real, hard-working chode, if anything," I say.

"What?! What did you say to me? You're lucky you're a woman!" Philip shouts.

I get up in his face, "CHODE. YOU ARE A CHODE."

Philip backs down, "Bah, you're not worth it. We have more important things to do."

Howard chimes in, "Yeah! We're trying to stop the end of the world!"